Tuesday 29th July 2003
Pen camera has arrived. Ordered some IP67 connectors from RSWWW.COM for the instrument pod.
Monday 28th July 2003
Ordered a pen camera today. It's a Sony CCD camera, weatherproof, and is only 21mm in diameter and it means I can fit it in the front panel of the car, discretely. I'm just looking for a suitable recording device now. I may use the JVC miniDV camcorder, I'm just looking round at the moment to see whats available.
Fitted the new digital instrument gauges from www.summitracing.com. I'm now wiring them in, and I need to order a switch to control the brightness, and a couple of connectors so I can make the instrument pod removable. The only downside is that the temperature display is in Farenheit, not Celcius, as they're from the USA, so I just need to get used to reading the temperature in American!
Maps and details of the photoshoot's came through today. Yep, two photoshoots in two days, one with CCC at DERA Chertsey (Surrey), a clinic feature with Dave Walker who gets to drive my car, and the other with the new Retro Cars magazine at Bruntingthorpe, together with a race prepared Golf GTI, Peugeot 205 GTI and a Mini. Excellent! Should be a fun couple of days next week. Hope it works out OK, and the car survives, as I'm at 3 Sisters on the following Sunday, a round of the Nottingham Sports Car Club speed championship.
Sunday 27th July 2003
A few minor tweaks to the car before the magazine photo shoot in August. I've stuck the big 24" zetecinside sticker on the car today. Took about 30 minutes to get it all smoothed out (you float it on with water, and squeegee the water out), but it was worth the effort. Looks great. Next mod is to fit the new digital instrument gauges, which I'll start work on next week. My next competitive event is at 3 Sisters on August 10th. I'm in 31st place in the Midland Speed Championships, 1st in class 4B, and my best 8 rounds count. So far I've competed on 7 rounds, with 3 more to go, so I can start dropping my worst scores soon. I could end up in the top 15 if I do well at the remaining rounds. Competition is hotting up now. Other competitors are also dropping scores, so it'll be quite fraught towards the end of the season. Still, I'm not doing too bad for our first full year.
If you get a chance, take a look at John Beardmore's project. He's built a race car from scratch, and it is now nearing completion. It's one of the most incredible projects I've ever come across, the level of professionalism has to be seen to be believed. I'm looking forward to seeing the car in the flesh soon. It is running a fuel injected 2.0 Fiat engine with a Lancia Integrale 16V head, hand made stainless exhaust manifold and system, dry sump, and a Weber Alpha injection system. The car even has carbon fibre panels, and the whole car has been completely scratch built by John. Its definitely worth a look. www.beardmorebros.co.uk
Tuesday 22nd July 2003
I'm now making my phone logo available for Nokia phone owners. Click the image below to save in .nlm format, and upload to your phone using LogoManager.
Monday 21st July 2003
Another fantastic day at Curborough yesterday. The weather was fair, a small shower in the afternoon for a couple of minutes, just before my 2nd timed run, but not enough to really make any difference to the level of grip. I made adjustments to the front and rear suspension, after fishtailing round in the morning. I took advise from several competitors and to reduce oversteer, I stiffened the front shockers (3.5 turns) and softened the rear (2 turns), and sure enough on my 1st timed run I posted a 69.49s, improving on my two practice runs from the morning. Then I stiffened the front even more (4 turns) and went out on my 2nd timed run and posted a 68.6s run, with a 39.0s first lap. Excellent fun. I've all but eliminated the oversteer, and the car was flying round the track. I was left foot braking round the last corner on to the straight, which seemed to help the car exit quicker. It certainly felt quite balanced, and it felt less likely to understeer.
My times for the Curborough Long Course were as follows:
Here are some photos from Curborough on Sunday (captured from DV video)
The pictures below were taken by Steve Kipping from the speed205gti.drive.to web site.
Saturday 19th July 2003
Bought some 12.9 grade bolts to fix the alternator in with. Only £1 each, so I bought a spare, just in case.
Thursday 17th July 2003
Results came through today from Harewood. I did beat the Mini, as his fourth and final run was slower than my quickest. Brilliant!
My times for Harewood were as follows:
T3 71.65s (72mph)
Here are some photos from Harewood on Sunday
Harewood event report, July 13th 2003
Tuesday 15th July 2003
Harewood was another good event. The course is very twisty and the gradients are quite steep in places. I managed a 71.45s run (72 mph up the hill), and then discovered the alternator mounting bolt had sheared again, despite going up from M8 to M10 after it broke at Donington during testing in January, so I'll have to get a 12.9 grade bolt from the local fastener suppliers before the weekend, so it shouldn't break again.
A 2.0 Vauxhall powered Mini turned up, and set times within 1/10ths of a second of mine, which was very encouraging. I wasn't too far off the pace, and after he set a 71.99s, which was later disallowed because the Mini demolished the bollards on the finishing line, I went out and set the 71.65s, which was very pleasing. However we didn't venture out for a 4th timed run just in case the alternator decided to drop off half way round, which would have cost a lot more to replace than just a bolt.
I've now sourced some helicopter tape for the rear wheel arches. Thanks to John Stevenson for coming up trumps.
Next event (#7) is Curborough on Sunday (20th July) so I've some work to do to get ready for the Long Course event. I may fit the UDP pulley supplied by www.kustomz.com and a shorter fanbelt, as this will mean that the alternator isn't turning quite so quickly when I'm pulling 7250 rpm. I think the vibration at this speed is causing the alternator to shear the bolt. That's the theory anyway.
I noticed that the radiator was cold at the top, after completing each run. I think it's because all the airflow through the radiator is through the top half, where the XR2 grill sits below the bonnet. So I'll put even more holes in the front bulkhead lower down, to allow air through the lower half of the radiator.
Saturday 12th July 2003
Another very busy week at work meant that I haven't had a chance to do any work on the car in preparation for the Harewood hillclimb tomorrow (#82). Still, the sun is shining this morning, so I'll take the car off the trailer today and just make a few tweeks/running repairs. The exhaust is blowing where the manifold joins the two down pipes, and the two seem to keep working loose, so I'll tackle that problem in particular.
We've had loads of mentions in the August 2003 Performance Ford magazine. Our web site gets a plug (thanks) with some screen shots taken from the Step by Step guide, and pictures of the Fiesta appear all over the magazine, in the Fiesta in the Park report, and in the shots for next months XR2 shootout article. Cool.
Speaking of car magazines, there's another photoshoot/review of the XR2 scheduled in the next month, and more details of exactly which magazine it'll be appearing in, will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Saturday 5th July 2003
The rear arches need some new paint now, as the run at Bruntingthorpe the other week has peppered the arches with small stones, and theres some big stone chips in the paint now. I need to get some Helicopter Tape (3M Scotchcal) to protect the arches for the rest of the season. Anyone got any spare?
The digital gauges have arrived from Summit Racing in the States. They look really high quality, despite the price tag of only £20 each. I'll try to get them wired in before the next event at Harewood on the 13th. I've not had my entry confirmed yet for that event, but everything is crossed as it'll be my first trip to the Yorkshire event, and it look such a good venue.